ONE THING TO REMEMBER WHEN YOU LOSE SOMEONE YOU LOVE
Tears shed for another person are not a sign of weakness; they are a sign of a pure, loving heart. It’s a matter of perspective. And perspective is everything at moments like this.
We all know deep down that life is short, and that death will happen to all of us eventually, and yet we are infinitely shocked when it happens to someone we love. It’s like walking up a flight of stairs with a distracted mind, and misjudging the final step. You expected there to be one more stair than there is, and so you find yourself off balance for a moment, before your mind shifts back to the present moment and how the world really is.
Marc and I have dealt with the loss of siblings and best friends to illness, so we know from experience that when you lose someone you can’t imagine living without, your heart breaks wide open. And the bad news is you never completely get over the loss – you will never forget them. However, in a backwards way, this is also the good news.
You see, death is an ending, which is a necessary part of living. And even though endings like these often seem ugly, they are necessary for beauty too – otherwise it’s impossible to appreciate someone or something, because they are unlimited. Limits illuminate beauty, and death is the definitive limit – a reminder that we need to be aware of this beautiful person, and appreciate this beautiful thing called life. Death is also a beginning, because while we have lost someone special, this ending, like the loss of any wonderful life situation, is a moment of reinvention. Although sad, their passing forces us to reinvent our lives, and in this reinvention is an opportunity to experience beauty in new, unseen ways and places. And finally, of course, death is an opportunity to celebrate a person’s life, and to be grateful for the beauty they showed us.
That’s just a small slice of what coping with loss has taught us, and I’m sure it has taught you some things as well.
In a nutshell, it all comes down to THINKING BETTER about grief, so you can LIVE BETTER in spite of it. Above all, remember…
Grief can be a burden, but also a healthy anchor for healing and living well.
As human beings, we sometimes get used to the weight of grief and how it holds us in place. For instance, I often say, “My brother will die over and over again for the rest of my life, and I’m OK with that – it keeps me closer to him.” This is my way of reminding others that grief doesn’t disappear. Step-by-step, breath-by-breath, it becomes a part of us. And it can become a healthy part of us too.
Although we may never completely stop grieving, simply because we never stop loving the ones we’ve lost, we can effectively leverage our love for them in the present. We can love them and emulate them by living with their magnificence as our daily inspiration. By doing this, they live on in the warmth of our broken hearts that don’t fully heal back up, and we will continue to grow and experience life, even with our wounds. It’s like badly breaking an ankle that never heals perfectly, and that still hurts when you dance, but you dance anyway with a slight limp, and this limp just adds to the depth of your performance and the authenticity of your character.
Just knowing this and keeping it in mind – just THINKING BETTER – I’ve learned, can help us dance again, gradually.